The institute is an independent research institution with a scientific council. At the same time, SIRUS is an administrative government body under the Ministry of Health and Care Services.
The institute maintains a national library containing alcohol and drug-related literature. The library is open to the public. SIRUS is also responsible for maintaining the statistics database RusStat, which contains updated statistics on alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
The institute is the Norwegian focal point for the EU drugs surveillance centre at Lisbon, EMCDDA.
SIRUS was established in 2001 when the then National Institute for Alcohol and Drug Research (SIFA) merged with the documentation section and library of the Department for Alcohol and Drugs at the Directorate for Health and Social Affairs.
At the moment SIRUS has a staff of around 40. Pål Kraft is the institute’s director. Visiting address is Øvre Slottsgate 2 B, Oslo, Norway.